Wednesday, September 03, 2003

I got a nice fortune cookie today. Well, the cookies are usually pretty standard, but the fortune was actually quite sweet as well this time, instead of the proverbs and cliches that seem to come out of those things so often. (Oops, I think I'm diminishing the positive effect of the fortune as I type...) In any case, the fortune was: "You will bring sunshine into someone's life." I thought that was very nice.

I decided to finally update my little sidebar calendar, but discovered I didn't really have that much to put on it. Things just seem to happen sort of spontaneously around here, so I don't have the time or the forethought to post the dates on my blog. Like the Oregon Symphony concert in Waterfront Park last week. That was lovely.

Hugo was absolutely wonderful today, and took Sylvia (my truck) out for an oil change, a DEQ smog check, and a VIN inspection. Wow! Now all I have to do is take all those documents in to the DMV, along with my application for Oregon title and registration and a few rather hefty checks, and I'll be all set. My car will officially be an Oregonian, just like me. :P Of course, I'm probably just going to turn around and try to sell it, but all of this would have to happen either way, so it's good to be getting it done. I'm going to try to get up early tomorrow morning (groan) and take stuph to the DMV before work. Crossing my fingers for short lines.

That's about it for now. Time to get back to various emails, paperwork, etc.

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Hooray! I finally put pictures up from Mom's birthday weekend! And it's not even December yet! :P Anyway, you can see them here.

On a completely unrelated note, making croissants is amazingly time-consuming. It's a two-day project, involving many steps of "roll to 20x8 inches, fold in thirds, chill 1/2 hour." I think we did that three times tonight. Now it chills overnight, and things really get going tomorrow. I think we might even be able to bake them some time tomorrow afternoon! :P It's very fun, though. We've been taking pictures the whole way, to make a croissant-making web page. :)

I'm very glad it's a three-day weekend. I've been sleeping soooooo much. Two-hour naps on both Friday and Saturday, and then 12 and 9 hours sleep at night. Wow. You'd think I've been sleep-deprived or something. It's certainly nice to sleep in. And have time to make croissants. :)

On a not-so-happy note, I lost my ring yesterday. The one I bought myself the day my Vision Quest ended two years ago. The strange thing is that, just a couple of days ago, I was thinking about losing it. Not necessarily a premonition, but just sort of wondering about the possibility, and how I'd feel if it were no longer in my life. So I've been thinking a lot about that, and wondering if there's a reason I lost it now. Just trying to be open, I guess. I think I need to do more of that.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

I got my Oregon driver license today! Yay me! Now I have to take Sylvia to the DEQ to be inspected, then go back to the DMV, get a VIN inspection, and get my title and registration transfered to Oregon. It's a hassle, but long overdue.

I also submitted my transfer application to PSU, took a campus tour, and talked to an admissions advisor to get a general idea of how many of my Stanford credits might transfer. All in all a pretty productive day. I'm still fighting to convince them that I really am an Oregon resident and qualify for in-state tuition, but it's actually kind of complicated, so that's still up in the air.

General update on life things... Work sucks and is getting worse, but that's all I need to say about that. Renegade Rose lost one of our dancers to a job in Austin, and is losing one of our musicians to a job in the Bay Area, but is otherwise going strong. I had a lovely trip down to Berkeley for Mom's birthday, and had some nice time with Mom, Graham, Monee and Pa. I saw "Bend It Like Beckham" on Monday night with my friend Joe (from Kimball), Hugo, Kirsty, and her friend Savannah. Good movie. It's the kind of movie that makes me wish I were really really good at something.

I've taken the last two days off to work on school stuph, and it's been lovely not going to work. And Hugo reminded me that this weekend is Labor Day weekend, so I have a paid holiday on Monday. Hooray!

So life is busy, as usual. Don't know when I'll post next, but hopefully I'll get some pictures up from my CA visit soon.

Friday, July 25, 2003

It's Bacchan'Ale time! I'm off to the pub downtown to meet and greet our out-of-town guests as they arrive in Portland. When Mom comes (hooray!) I'll drive with her down to the Ale site in Salem for a wonderful week of dancing. It's going to be tons of fun, but I'll be glad when it's over. I've been stressed and sleep-deprived for the last week (or two, or three) with all of the Ale-planning going on. I'm taking Monday off of work to recuperate and post pictures. :) Hooray!

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Hooray for weekends and sleep. I came home from work last night and basically slept from 6:30-10:00. Hugo woke me up for a yummy dinner and watching "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." What a lovely movie. I'd been feeling drained and very low on energy for the last couple of days, but that nap was just the thing I needed. I woke up much much happier this morning.

Ale-planning is still crazy, and trying to coordinate everything has been quite a learning experience. I actually took last Wednesday off of work as a "personal day" to deal with things. I was on the computer emailing people and on the phone for most of the day. Yikes. But I got things pretty well sorted out. We had a meeting after practice on Thursday to get everybody on the same page. It's hard to believe that the Ale is happening in only two weeks -- yikes!

I'm trying to keep this weekend as mellow as I can, to avoid beginning the week as exhausted as I ended it. Hugo and kids went to get haircuts this morning (I told him to take before and after pictures), then up to Mount St. Helens to visit the lava tubes. I would like to do that some time, but not today. They took Sylvia because Hugo's van is currently being used by a friend, so I'm walking places today. I walked to a little thrift store about 8 blocks away, and came away with a pair of overalls (at last!) and two wonderful rugs (at last! at last!), which I then had to carry home over my shoulder. :P Luckily, the guys at the store were really really nice; they rolled the rugs up together and taped them up for me so I wouldn't have to deal with them unrolling. They said, "Now this is excellent customer service" and the woman who was ringing me up agreed, saying "Yeah, they never do this!" It's nice being a girl sometimes. :) One of the rugs is a rag rug in various shades of blue that goes perfectly with the walls, trim, and sheets in my bedroom, and the other is one of those heavy rugs with fringe on the ends, dark green and burgundy and beige, and goes perfectly with the futon in the living room. Hooray!

I've been doing a bit of looking into colleges and things in the last week. I've basically done searches to find all the colleges in Portland, and have been browsing their websites looking at what they offer and hoping something catches my eye. Lewis & Clark College has a Sociology/Anthropology major that actually looks pretty cool. It has some neat looking classes like Anthropology of the Body, Environmental Sociology, and American Advertising and the Science of Signs. I requested information about the college last week, and this morning received their entire course catalog in the mail -- I thought that was pretty cool. Of course, Lewis & Clark is almost as expensive as Stanford, which I was trying to avoid, but it could still be nice. I'm still looking at other places, and will probably try to do some visiting and tours next month or so, and apply for transfer admission starting spring semester. We shall see.

Monday, July 07, 2003

Weekends are good when you can change plans as often as you want. Instead of cycling and berry picking yesterday, we stayed home and had "Project Day." It was wonderful. I got out my sewing machine and the fabric I've been intending to make curtains out of for the last year. Hugo kept looking over at me and finding me in the same position, standing staring at the fabric laid out on the floor with my thinking look on. I explained that I had to do the whole thing in my head and make all of my mistakes up there so I only had to do it for real once, and do it right. He laughed, but it worked! :P I of course had to do things about the most complicated way possible, and I only got half of it done (one panel of two), but it looks great! And it blocks the light really well. So I was happy with myself. :) It was soooooo nice to have a three-day weekend. We managed to savor the whole thing so that it felt like a vacation rather than just a long weekend -- it certainly felt longer than three days to me!

Work is getting to be a bit more tiring and frustrating and unrewarding, and I'm starting to think it might be time to look for something new. Of course, for that, I probably need to go back to school. And for that, despite the constant admonishing reminders from Hugo and others, I feel like I need to have some idea of what I want to do in college. I certainly realize that I'm most likely not going to make a career out of a specific major I choose in college, but I'd at least like to think I'm choosing something that will have some relevance to my life after I graduate. Hmmm.. So my ongoing assignment for myself of researching colleges and degrees in Portland has stepped up a notch or two in priority. I feel like I'm finally coming to the point where I could return to school and survive, if only I knew what I wanted to study. That's my stumbling block right now; if I knew that I could go just about anywhere to get a degree and get it over with. We'll see. Meanwhile, it's time to extend my Stanford leave of absence... again.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

A very fun day at Oneonta Gorge yesterday. We drove up to the Columbia River Gorge, which is a beautiful area, went to the lookout at Crown Point, had a picnic, and then hiked up Oneonta Gorge, where you can't not get wet. It was a beautiful day with perfect weather, and we all had a blast. I took a bunch of pictures, which you can see here. We took the streetcar downtown and walked to the Riverfront to watch the fireworks last night, shot from a barge on the Willamette. I could have done without the cigarette smoke and the crowds, but it was a good show. The funniest part was when all of the lawn sprinklers started going off -- everybody had their blankets and chairs and things out on the grass, and these monster streams of water started shooting all over them. It was hilarious. A rather large oversight on the part of the Parks department, I think, not to turn off the automatic sprinklers when they knew there would be hundreds of people out on the grass. :P

Today was a pretty mellow day. Hugo and I were invited to a dinner party that was a "first-annual fourth of July weekend June/July birthday party." It was hosted by the very nice couple whose wedding we danced at on May Day, Jonathan and Suzanne. Suzanne just happens to work as the cook for the lovely bed and breakfast down the street from their house, The Lion and The Rose. So of course the food was absolutely scrumptious. And the company was excellent as well, a good mix of folks we knew, folks we had met once or twice before, and folks we had never met before. All in all, it was a lovely evening.

Tomorrow is a sleeping in day. (I love holidays -- it's sooooo nice to have an extra day!) Hugo and I are planning on cycling up to Sauvie Island to do some berry-picking in the afternoon. Mmmmm, fresh berries. But now it's time for bed.

Friday, July 04, 2003

Forget Mount St. Helens -- we're off to Oneonta Gorge! There's a really cool Virtual Guide Book to the Columbia Gorge that has swiveling camera shots of some really cool places and attractions. It's kind of creepy getting a 360° view on a computer screen as if you were standing in one place turning around looking at things, but it's pretty cool. There are some neat waterfalls and things around here.

Anyway, must go finish making eggy sandwiches and getting things together. It's a holiday! :)

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Holiday tomorrow -- Wheeeeeeee! And a paid holiday at that! That was a surprising piece of happy news I got this week. The day will probably be spent hiking and picnicking with Hugo, Ellie, Kirsty and Robbie, at a location yet to be determined. My only request was that we go somewhere I haven't been, which isn't a very tall order, since I've hardly been anywhere! We're probably going to drive up to Mount St. Helens and look at the lava tubes or something nifty like that. :)

The Salem World Beat Festival last Sunday was a success, despite the fact that five of the Bridgetown Morris Men cancelled their attendance on Saturday, so the team consisted of Hugo and Phil dancing and Dick playing music. They did a fine job, though, and sang some songs in between the dances. Renegade Rose performed in the afternoon and then marched in the Parade of Nations. Ellie dressed as Brittania and carried the Union Jack and the "England" sign. The parade was a rather cacophonous blend of every nation's native music and costumes, but it was fun nonetheless. You can see pictures of the day's antics here.

Due to a great number of our dancers being gone for the holiday and the rest of us being burnt out on things for now, we've cancelled practice for tonight and instead are getting together for an evening of singing and music. That means my knee gets a rest and I don't even have to make excuses! :P

Enough for now. Dinner time and then singing!

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Wow, it took me a long time to post this entry that I wrote a week ago! And the new Blogger is weird! Anyway, here's from 6/25:

Apparently my blog is being converted "to a new-and-improved version of Blogger," so I can’t actually post right now. Humph. It seems that, since I post so infrequently and sporadically, the least that Blogger could do for me would be to make itself available for those rare occasions on which I do want to post. Sigh.

I saw DeMara today! Hooray! She picked me up after work to do dinner and catch-up. We tried to go to the Portland City Grill on the 30th floor of "The Big Pink" (the second-tallest building in Portland, with an amazing view of the city) for cheap happy hour appetizers and good scenery, but it was really crowded and noisy and unconducive to chatting. So we went back down the 30 floors (no, we didn’t take the stairs) and went across the street to a wonderfully colorful, funky cute restaurant called Ca?ita, where a bunch of my co-workers had gone for cheap happy hour appetizers. I had wanted to go with them, but had scheduled dinner with DeMara before I knew about the outing, but this way I got to do both at once! It was fun to hang out with these guys somewhere other than work; I really do work with a pretty neat group of people. And all of these particular people were under or very close to 30, so everybody’s pretty close to the same age. I’m still the youngest of the bunch, but fortunately I don’t usually feel it. So that was fun.

Random hilarious computer story of the day (well, yesterday). I was having a terrible morning yesterday with the printer – the server was freezing and nothing was printing, and when I restarted it it kept giving me weird error messages that I didn’t understand. If I left the message too long without clicking one of the buttons it offered, a verbal alert would begin, basically a woman’s voice reading the error message to me. It was scary enough the first time, but the second time she prefaced her recitation by saying: "It’s not my fault." I’m not kidding. I couldn’t believe somebody had actually programmed that into a computer! It almost made up for the hassle I was going through. (But not quite –- my printing rate hit an all-time low of about one job an hour). Fortunately, I managed to sort out the problem with the help of tech support, and actually hit an all-time high printing rate of 21 jobs an hour this morning. So that was satisfying. But enough of work. I’ve decided to make the conscious decision (do I sound decisive or what?) to leave work at work, and not to bring it home with me. Makes for much more relaxed, less stressful evenings. J

Practice tomorrow for theWhirled Beet Festival, as our Squire likes to call it. Renegade Rose is listed in the Sunday entertainment at the European Village, but unfortunately it doesn’t have any description, so nobody will know what we do! Humph. Oh, well.

We "stole" some fresh mint from Beverly’s garden last time we were over, so I think I’m going to make myself some mint tea and take a bath. I’ll post this whenever Blogger decides to let me get to my blog again.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

P.S. My hair is getting longer -- I can put it in half-ponytails now! Hee hee hee!!! :P

Wow, I've posted a lot today. Read from the bottom up if it matters to you.
I just realized in looking at my calendar that, as of this last Thursday (June 19), I have been living in Portland for a year. Wow. It sure doesn't feel like that long. On the other hand, in some ways I feel like I've been here my whole life. Granted, I still don't know my way around and I haven't been to a quarter of the nifty little places or local attractions that I should, but it definitely does feel like home. I've heard that Portland can do this to people. :)

Looking back on my "year off," I see a lot of change. Changes in location, jobs, hobbies, relationships, and huge changes in my priorities and my attitude toward life. I didn't really know what I wanted to acheive by taking time off, but whatever it is, I feel like I'm at least a few steps further along my path. My palm was briefly read this afternoon by a morris-dancing palmist friend, and she came up with some things that really resonated with my life, my feelings, and especially related to this last year. Among many other things, she said that my life line is not grounded, which means that I'm still up in the air with where I want to be in my life, and am constantly turning the next corner (and I have lots of corners) and finding challenge after challenge. And that my lesson to learn in this life is that of standing in my own power. Wow. Yeah. That hit the spot.

So with that in mind (and the Tom Petty lyrics "I'm taking control of my life right now" playing right on cue) I suppose now is as good a time as any to give some answer to the question I've been asked by so many this year, and increasingly often the last couple of months. I'll leave the over-arching question of "What do you want to do with your life" for another time (I don't think any of you actually expect an answer to that from me any time soon) and address the more immediate and specific question of "Are you coming back to Stanford in the fall?" No, I am not. I haven't figured out yet exactly what is right for me to do at this stage in my life, but I have figured out that Stanford isn't the right place for me to be. I think I've known this for quite a while, but it's been hard letting that grow from a gut feeling to an actual concrete decision. It's that "standing in your own power" thing. I'm working on it. Anyway, I can still take up to one more year's leave of absence and go back any time if I change my mind (it just gets harder after that because you have to apply for re-entry). So for those of you who are concerned about that sort of thing, you don't have to think of it as "dropping out." I'm working on finding somewhere else to finish up some sort of education, but more than that I'm just sort of letting things play themselves out and watching what happens. I'm not really in a hurry to figure things out. I'm pretty happy where I am in life right now, so I'd like to enjoy it for a while before rushing on to goodness-knows-what. Maybe my life line will find some foundations along the way.
Mmmmm..... strawberries...... We got the most amazingly wonderful delicious heavenly strawberries at the Farmer's Market today. Every one is a is a close-your-eyes-and-savor-each-molecule experience. We bought a mixed half-flat, half strawberries, half humungous plump juicy blueberries. Oh, so yummy! We gorged ourselves on the trolley on the way home, then I washed and put most of the rest in the freezer to keep for smoothies and pancakes and things -- yum!

Oh, and Renegade Rose danced at the Farmer's Market this morning. This is obviously secondary to the strawberries in my book, especially since I was not personally involved in the dancing. (Side note on that -- my knee is still giving me trouble, but I'm going to get it checked out as soon as my new health insurance starts up next month -- I'm finally getting benefits at work!!! Okay, enough of side note.) It was a grey day, with spatterings of sprinkles interspersed by bursts of sunshine which conveniently just happened to coincide with the times that we were dancing. And I'm not kidding! It was drizzling, and it cleared up and got sunny when we started dancing. We took a break and moved to a different area and it got snotty again, then the sun came up when we started dancing. It was quite convincing, and we made almost $30! :) Mom's drum made its debut as an implement of morris, and was well appreciated and highly complimented. Thanks, Mom!

I bought my copy of the new Harry Potter book today -- while I was grocery shopping! They just happened to have a whole table full of them, at a reduced price. I figured I wasn't going to find a better deal, so I just grabbed one. Boy, that thing's thick! I think I'm going to wait on it a little bit until I feel like I have some solid chunks of time to devote to it. But I have it! :)

Monday, June 16, 2003

I have comments now! And side-bar spiffy-ness! Hooray for helpful brothers! Maybe I'll actually post again one of these days...... By the way, most of the dotPhoto albums listed are currently incomplete at the moment; I'll let you know when they're actually functional. The one that is all done and look-at-able is Miscellaneous May.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Happy Birthday, Graham! Hooray for wonderful brothers -- I'm so glad I have you for mine.

Saturday, April 05, 2003

I seem to have developed a blister on the tip of my left index finger from playing the mandolin. Humph. Silly wimpy un-callused fingers.
You know, figuring one’s life out is not an easy thing to do. That’s the reason I came up here to Portland – to try something new and see if that helped me sort out some of the old problems. I’ve realized after nine months here that that’s really not something you can plan to do; you can’t say "I’m going to take a year off, and at the end of that year all of my issues will be reconciled and I’ll be ready to go back to where I was, problem free." No, unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

The main thing I wanted to sort out this year was my relationship to school – why I’m following the track I’m following, what kind of effort I want to put into it, and what I want to get out of it. After two quarters away from Stanford, these questions have receded into the background, yielding to the larger question of Am I even ready for this at all? I think I wrote some time back in February about not being clear in my major or the direction I want to take in school, and since then the frustration has increased rather than subsided. I find myself dreading questions about where I am in school and how I like my major, because I don’t know how to answer them; I find myself racking my brains for positive things to say, and then inevitably add something along the lines of "but I have no idea what I want to do with it, and I have to take a ton of icky classes that are no fun at all." I can’t be giving these people a positive endorsement of the program with this response.

It’s not just Stanford that I’m sticking at. I can’t even seem to handle community college. Of course, that’s a part of the Stanford thing, since I’ve just been taking classes to transfer back into the Earth Systems major there, but I thought that community college would at least be a little easier to deal with. Not so. Over the last two quarters I have experienced a return of the school-related depression that I experienced freshman year. It wasn’t fun then, and it’s not fun now. It wasn’t too noticeable fall quarter, and I brushed it off as adjusting to a new place and a new system, and assured myself that it would pass. Last quarter it was far worse, and just the thought of registering for classes this quarter brought this huge cloud of doom over my head that warned me there was something bigger going on than just wishing I could have homework-free weekends. I just don’t seem to be able to convince myself that I should continue to charge blindly down a road with an unknown destination. And, in the case of Stanford, that’s a heck of a lot of money to spend on something I don’t know if I’m ready for. Especially when I can’t seem to remember anything I learn in school; it just seems like an enormous expenditure for the purpose of receiving a special piece of paper at the end of four years (or longer).

As much as I’d like to tell myself that I’ve been living my life for me and that it doesn’t matter what other people think, I feel that I’ve been constructing my process of higher education on the foundations of "shoulds" piled upon me from all sides, rather than actual personal inclination or motivation. I hated my first year at Stanford and almost didn’t go back, but couldn’t quite overcome the "should" factor, or rather, the "most definitely should not" factor. At that point it was also easier to just go back than to find something else to do instead, so I did return for a second year, and had a much better time than the first year. But that had everything to do with friends and nothing to do with academics, which still frustrated and sometimes depressed me. Even though I declared my major last year, I didn’t feel like I had any specific direction within that major, and still don’t even now. The difference is, I am now allowing myself to question whether or not this particular process of education is right for me at this point in my life. The answer seems to be coming back no, I’m not ready for this. I feel like I’m putting a lot of energy and money into going nowhere, and not getting anything out of it.

So I’ve dropped the physics class I was going to take this quarter. I’m going to see how things work for me with no classes for a while, and see if really taking a quarter off (as opposed to the "off" but not really off quarters I’ve had up here already) gets me any closer to a decision on where I want to be going with my life right now.

Just as a reassuring side-note, despite how this blog entry may sound, I’m actually quite happy with my life right now. I feel much better for dropping the class, and not depressed at all – just confused. :)

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Happy Birthday, Quena! I'm so glad you're in this world, and in my life. You're the best sister a girl could ever wish for. Happy Quena day!

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Graham's coming to visit!!!!!! Hooray!!!!!! I'm very excited, can you tell? :) He's coming up the weekend of April 11-14, for the Jez Lowe concert on Friday night, the contra dance on Saturday, and general fun, music and merriment in between and all around. Yay!!!

It's been a lovely weekend, and for once it felt longer than two days. I spent the early afternoon today helping our friend Phil pick up a desk from the Salvation Army and taking it back to his house, then meeting Hugo at a coffee shop and sitting outside chatting for a while. It wasn't quite as sunny as yesterday was, but it was still very warm and lovely outside. I just got back from taking Hugo to the airport for another four days in San Jose. We got sent through the vehicle inspection line, where the guy asked if I'd ever been through a vehicle inspection before, looked into the back of the truck through the window and then told us to go all the way back around and get in traffic again. Which put us in exactly the wrong lane for the departure drop-off, with nothing to stop the security people from pulling us over again. But they didn't, and he got there in time. So now I have the apartment to myself again for a few days, which is kind of nice in its own way.

I can't wait for Graham to come visit!!!!! :)

Saturday, March 29, 2003

What a gloriously gorgeous day! The whole day has just been one big happy. Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. :) It’s been beautiful and warm and sunny (shorts and tank top weather, believe it or not, after the rain we’ve been having this week), the cherry trees are beautiful and blossoming, the flowers are blooming, and it’s just beautiful. We’ve had the front door open almost all day it’s been so nice out. We walked to Swagat this afternoon for an Indian buffet lunch, and walked back by way of the hospital’s "Healing Garden," seeing and smelling all of the lovely flowers and herbs and happy things. I spent a good part of the afternoon sitting on the porch in the sunshine writing a few letters, helping Kirsty write a story about a giant and a kitten, and listening to Hugo play the mandolin on the steps.

Oh, and I’ve been playing the mandolin as well! Hugo was starting to teach me "Blue Eyed Stranger" before breakfast, but it necessarily turned into basic mandolin anatomy and technique. I’ve been doodling around with it a bit more this evening, and figured out how to play the tune to Badbe Bean Setting, one of my favorite morris dances – a very energetic stick dance. It’s fun and exciting to pick out tunes, but my fingers hurt! :P I’ve been thinking more and more recently that I really need to learn how to play an instrument, so that when I’m not dancing at morris practice or at gigs, I can still participate by playing. And my choices are basically either the pennywhistle of Graham’s that I’ve had in my desk drawer for about three years now, or one of Hugo’s mandolins. I am also babysitting DeMara’s guitar for her, but that’s not such a good morris instrument, and besides, my small hands don’t work too well for the larger neck. :P I’ve been thinking about trying the pennywhistle out again, but I’m feeling more in a mandolin mood, so I’m going with that for now. I just hope the mood lasts through the painful period of growing calluses! :P

So life is good in Lacey-Land, though I haven’t blogged for some time to tell everybody about it. I have had a great week of Spring Break, even though I’ve mostly celebrated my vacation by working full-time. It’s been sooooo nice to come home in the evenings and not have to do homework, and not have to spend the weekend studying or feeling like I should be studying. And, funny enough, it hasn’t felt like there’s been anything missing. :P I’m not exactly looking forward to school starting again next week (on the first of April, but unfortunately not April Fool’s), but at least it’s only one class. And yoga! Yay! I’ve been looking forward to getting some more exercise. I think I’ll bring my bike out of the basement tomorrow and see if it’s still working, and maybe start biking to work if the weather keeps being nice.

Oh, and I passed both of my classes last quarter. That’s about all there is to say about that, other than thank goodness that’s over. :}

Beautiful beautiful day! I hope everybody’s Saturday was as wonderful as mine. :)

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Here's hoping for safe, relaxing, and uneventful plane rides for Tina traveling to Berlin today. Have a wonderful time, Tina!!!

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Huzzah for Renegade Rose! Our first-ever gig was quite successful -- everybody looked great in the newly-sewn kit (I finished mine in the pub before the gig, after sewing patches all the way there on the MAX), the weather was nice enough to dance outside -- we even brought out a rainbow with our first dance! The audience loved the dancing, and they even put some actual money into the urinal that our Greenman hobby Roger was carrying around for a donation tin (don't ask). All in all, it ran pretty smoothly and I was very proud of everybody, especially our brand-new-to-morris dancers Beverly and Linda. Huzzah to everybody!
Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEMARA!!! Congratulations on finally making it to 21! (You've waited 21 years for this, it had better be good.... )
What's black and white and red all over? Renegade Rose kit! :P Hugo and I were up until almost 2:00 this morning sewing baldricks and armbands and knickers, oh my. I still have some hand-sewing to do this morning, attaching patches to the baldrics (and I really wish I had a thimble!), but I can do that on the MAX if I don't get it done before I have to leave. Hugo's over there already, getting ready for the Bridgetown dancing slot at 11:30, so I'm just going to take the bus and the MAX out there to meet people at 2:00 to get ready and practice for the RR slot. A nice long train ride, so I should have time to finish the sewing I have left (crossing fingers here). And if not, well, I'm bringing a box of safety pins. :) By the way, my new sewing machine works fabulously! I even remembered how to do the stretch stitch that the woman in the sewing shop showed me, so I sewed my elastic armbands and they still stretch! I was proud of myself for that one. :P

Anyway, gotta go get to work!

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

HOORAY!!!! Exams are over! And I never have to take another math class as long as I live! (If I've passed this one, that is....)

And now I have a lovely relaxing week with nothing to do!

......... Yeah, right. But no homework, at least. :)

Thanks for all the well-wishes from everybody; they were definitely appreciated. I definitely did better on the physics exam than the diff eq, but as Hugo said, that's no surprise. And I'm glad that one was first, because I felt better going into the second one... five minutes later. Ugh to back-to-back finals. But they're over! That's the theme for the evening. :)

Now it's time to unpack my brand-new sewing machine and make some armbands and baldricks and knee-britches for Saturday's gig!

Monday, March 17, 2003

It's another "Guess what I bought today!" day. So guess what I bought! Well, actually, it was a partial trade, partial purchase. As I might have mentioned before, my poor little Singer sewing machine has not been in good shape -- well, okay, it's been completely broken since before Christmas. Well, Hugo was kind enough to take it into the shop for me last week, where they arrived at a not-very-pleasant conclusion as to servicing needed and the cost thereof. So I went in today to check it out and hear the full story and consider my options. Turned out that the best option was actually to get a new sewing machine altogether, so I did! It's a Pfaff, so I'll have to adapt to a different make, but it won't be so bad, because I used Pfaffs quite frequently when I worked in the costume shop at Stanford last year. They showed me how to use it, gave me the whole thing with a carrying case, some bobbins, a few spools of thread, and several leather needles (since I told them I'd be sewing on leather), and gave it to me for half price plus the trade of my old kaput Singer. I feel bad about giving up that old sewing machine, because I've always been fond of it, but at this point it wouldn't have been worth it to fix it, and now I have a new machine with all sorts of warranties that should last me a good long while. Yay! And just in time to frantically sew some kit items for Saturday's gig! :}

I'm off to pick up Renegade Rose patches from Lev downtown, then get the ribbons and baldrics from Marti. I told everybody that I'd be here tonight so they could come by and pick theirs up so they can work on them, because otherwise we wouldn't get them handed out until Thursday night, which is a bit close to the gig for my comfort. So off I go to catch a bus!

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Guess what I bought today -- plane tickets! Hooray! I'm flying down for Big Dance! Of course, that's not until May, but it's still exciting. Yay! And I finally signed up for the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan thing, so I get miles every time I do practically anything -- including about 1500 for the combination of signing up and reserving tickets for the first time as a member. :)

Lots of stuph has happened since last time I blogged, which was yonks ago, I know. I had my last lectures in both of my classes last week, and now I have to study for the finals -- both on Wednesday, Physics from 2-4, Diff Eq from 4-6. Ugh. I hate back-to-back exams. At least they're only 2 hours, though, instead of the 3 that I'm used to at Stanford. Small comfort. :{ Hugo is down in San Jose from now until after my finals are over, though, so I have two and a half days of slightly less distraction in which to study.

Work has been rather insanely busy lately. We're working on a bunch of new label styles that have to have everything ready to go up on the website before the ads about them come out in another week and a half. Aren't deadlines wonderful? And there was a little article on our company on (apparently very big in NY), which generated an enormous number of orders, so business is going to be booming next week on top of working on new styles. Fun. Oh, yeah, and there is no longer a women's toilet on our floor at work. I came in one day last week and Diana told me, "By the way, we don't have a toilet today." I thought she just meant it was out of order again (it does that a lot) but, no, apparently she meant exactly what she said, because they'd taken the whole thing out to do something or other with it. They put a sign up telling us to use other bathrooms on other floors. But Diana got clever and made a little sign that says "Woman CAUTION In Here" (like the (Automatic CAUTION Door signs) -- so now we just use the men's bathroom and stick that on the door. Their bathroom is nicer anyway -- it has two toilets (and a urinal, of course, but the women's only has one toilet), is painted, has pretty handle-taps and even a fake flower in a vase on the counter -- not fair! :}

Yesterday was Hugo's birthday (Happy Belated Birthday!). He was out for part of the afternoon, then came home and asked if I wanted to go out with him, because he'd finally found something to trade in his electric classical guitar and amp for. I, of course, said yes, and so I went with him to pick up his birthday present to himself -- a gorgeous and wonderfully loud acoustic mandolin. It's really nice. He also got a three-instrument stand for various guitars and mandolins, so we can shove the cases under the futon and get them out of the way. Yay for new musical toys! We went to dinner at The Chart House, a fancy-schmancy restaurant on the top of a hill with a beautiful view of the Portland city lights. The food was lovely (I forget how much I like spinach! :P) and it was a gorgeous evening so the view was lovely (it's been raining here for the last several days, so that part was a bit iffy. Rather than drive, we took a couple of buses and walked up the hill to the restaurant, which was very pleasant. We laughed at the valet parking and were very proud of ourselves for getting there so nicely on public transportation.

Speaking of public transportation, my wonderful friend Phil has just secured me extremely cheap public transportation for the next six months. He, like Hugo, works at IBM, and they have special transportation deals for their employees. The way public transit works here in Portland is a system of buses, light-rail trains, and streetcars collectively called "Tri Met." So a transit pass works for any of the three, and transfers work from one to the other as well. Regular monthly Tri Met passes cost $56, or $45 for student-subsidized passes. But Phil picked up the pass allocated to him by IBM and gave it to me because he doesn't use public transportation. It's a little sticker that goes on the back of my i.d. card, good through August. And how much did it cost? $26! Thank you, Phil!

Oh, and just in case I don't blog tomorrow, here's wishing a very happy 21st birthday to Jonathan! And good luck to all the Stanford folk who are taking finals this week. It's almost Spring break!

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Hmmm, not a very happy Saturday. It's been one of those days where I woke up in an icky blue mood and just haven't been able to shake it all day. I got up around noon (yes, I'm lazy -- we also stayed up until after 1:00 watching DVDs last night), took a shower, and basically spent the entire remainder of the day working on my taxes. Now that's a mood-lifter. The good news is, they're all done -- federal, California, and Oregon -- and I'm getting refunds! Quite substantial ones from Fed and OR. For CA I theoretically owe them $2.36, but since I didn't make enough money to be taxed, they should refund that and the other $6.50 that was withheld -- ooh, goody! :} It feels good to have those over and done with.

My next un-fun task that I'm not looking forward to very much is that of reviewing my health insurance plan to see if there's somebody I can get to refer me to a sports doctor or somebody to help me figure out what's wrong with my knee. I'm staying home from the contra dance tonight because of it, which especially sucks because it's a special dance -- the band is so big they have to hold it at the big PSU ballroom (where the English Country Ball was in November). What is this band? you may ask, and how big is it? They're called the Portland MegaBand, and I believe the membership totals somewhere around 75 musicians -- which is why they can't hold the dance on the basketball court at the community center! I was joking about tonight, saying that they were going to have to put the band out on the dance floor and have everybody dance up on the stage. :P I'm really bummed that I can't go, but I hope it's fun for everybody else.

Time to go eat some dinner and start looking through my health insurance policy. Oh joy.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Oh, I forgot to write -- I got a cool (read: geek) book at the PCC library book sale yesterday. They've had this thing on for quite some time now, just a small rack of books off in the corner that nobody ever looks at as far as I can tell. I finally went to browse it yesterday, and ended up buying one of the first books I saw. It's just geeky enough to have the possibility of being extremely useful (either that or it will be completely useless). It's called "MATHEMATICAL TABLES from HANDBOOK of CHEMISTRY&PHYSICS", copyright 1964. It's a little hardcover jam-packed full of tiny-print tables and formulas and all sorts of mathematical jibberish, along with some things I might actually use, like the trig identities I knew really well in highschool but can't seem to remember now, and logarithms and Laplace transforms and that sort of thing. All in one convenient little volume. Yes, I'm officially a geek. :P

Hugo just told me that he's been downloading "Doctor Who" episodes on his PC, so it might be fun to watch some of those again. Wow, that's been a while! He also got "The Neverending Story," so that'll be fun to see again. :)

That's about it. Time to get ready for morris practice!
Well, our internet connection is down so this won’t get posted tonight, but I wanted to write anyway.

I took Pa’s advice (from quite some time ago) and went into the career center at PCC between classes this afternoon. They have a bunch of big books on specific careers and things like that lying around, which can be very helpful…. if you know exactly what you want to do. It was rather daunting. I didn’t spend much time looking at those, but I did make an appointment to take a couple of career assessment tests on Monday afternoon. It’s probably along the lines of the questionnaires that we did in highschool that give you choices of careers such as "tree farmer" or "fish hatcher" or "phlebotomist," but I thought I’d give it a try anyway and see what it came up with.

We had a group quiz in Diff Eq this evening, one of those matching things where you have to match some parameters with a phase portrait with a time graph and then justify your choices (for a forced harmonic oscillator, if that means anything to you). Part C of the quiz was something like "Provide a poetic description of the motion of each of the masses." We had pretty much done that in our justification section, but we decided to be poetic anyway, and wrote a limerick:

A mass on a spring with no friction
Was whacked by a man on a mission.
The mass oscillated,
Our brains all gyrated,
And then we described its position!

Pretty bad, huh? We were very proud of it, though. :P

I made cookies this evening, and have started hemming and hawing over the hewing and hemming of my black pants into knee britches for RR kit. I’ve had these things for so long, and just haven’t done them because I haven’t figured out how I want to do them. Well, that and my sewing machine is currently sitting in the basement, broken. Poor thing. It’ll be a miracle if we all manage to get kit together before the gig.

On another happy note, I got a letter from Cristie today! Yay for cousins. She sent me another picture from the Hallowe’en party I went to last year, where she, all of her housemates and I all dressed up as a boy/girlscout troup, complete with den mother (that was Mike.) It was very silly. It was good to hear from her. We should get together again some time soon. It’s funny, last time we saw each other we were remarking on how funny it was that all of our family were so excited that I was moving up to Portland because I’d be closer to Cristie and could see each other all the time. And the funnier thing is that we have seen each other more in the last six months than we have in the last couple of years, even though we live three hours apart now and we used to live 40 minutes apart! Funny how things work. :P

Okay, I think that’s enough for now. Back to the knickers. :P

Monday, March 03, 2003

Well, I guess there’s some truth to the theory of "third time’s the charm." Registration for spring quarter opened this morning, and I was actually allowed to register for what I wanted without the whole runaround of prerequisite overrides or professor approval or any of that! Huzzah! I’m only taking one academic class next quarter – another physics class, the last I have to take. I’m also signed up for a yoga class on Tuesday evenings, from 5:30 – 7:00, close enough for me to walk there after work. I’m very excited about that; it’ll be nice to get some more stretching and yoga back into my life on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it doesn’t start until April. Sigh.

I went to the contra dance on Saturday for the first time in a long time. My ankle was just fine, but my knee started up again, which tells me it may be time to start thinking about how important it really is for me to do contra, since that seems to be the problem. When I wasn’t doing contra for a few weeks, my knee was fine for running and morris, but it started hurting about the third dance in, so I’m pretty sure that contra is the culprit. Darnit!

I had a nice productive afternoon in the PSU library yesterday, and got all of my differential equations homework done for today. Now I just have to work on my physics and the rest of diff eq for Wednesday. Does it ever end? Yeah, March 19. I can’t wait.

Saturday, March 01, 2003

It's daffodil season! We went for a run this morning and saw tons and tons of daffodils in peoples' yards, and along the sidewalk. And the cherry trees are all pink with blossoms. And the weather is absolutely gorgeous. It's all very happy. It was a lovely run. I wrapped my ankle and it was just fine the whole way. Even though I haven't run for a couple of weeks, I didn't feel like I was killing myself; it was very nice, and quite encouraging.

Hugo and I watched "Ice Age" last night -- absolutely hilarious! It has one of the best intros to any movie I've ever seen, and there were funny bits throughout the whole thing. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it if you're in the mood for some laughs.

Not much out of the ordinary to report for now. I went to Bridgetown practice on Wednesday night, just to watch. Boy, do they have a different energy then Renegade Rose! It's pretty amazing. RR practice Thursday night went alright, though I didn't dance much. We're going to have a bit of a push to get all of our kit ready by the March 22nd gig -- especially since we haven't even ordered the shirts yet! Roger, who used to be the Bridgetown hobby (a really cool troll -- very appropriate for a city with far too many bridges) has offered to be our hobby, and we've decided on a Greenman. I think it'll be really cool. Everybody was saying he should have a rose on his costume somewhere, for connection to Renegade Rose. My suggestion was one of those clown boutonniers that squirts at you -- I thought that would be great for summer gigs. :)

I've got tons of homework to do this weekend, so I'd better get started. I'm looking forward to this quarter being over. Both of my finals are on the same day (March 19), which isn't very fun. I'm just hoping they're not scheduled for the same time! I'll be glad to only be taking one class next quarter. I might actually have a tiny bit of something resembling free time! But probably not. :P

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Happy happy birthday to Tina!!!!

Monday, February 24, 2003

(Written yesterday evening, but I couldn't post it)

Well, the weekend was mostly studying as predicted. I've discovered that the library at PSU is much better for studying than the public library; they have two whole floors designated as quiet study areas, and their hours are much more reasonable (well, it is a university library). I met my friend Gerhardt there on Sunday -- he's (currently) an optical engineer, and has about 5 degrees, one of them in teaching, I believe. He actually asked if he could help me with my diff eq homework, because he needed a review, so I finally took him up on it. He certainly did need a review ("Wow, eigenvalues -- they're really important, aren't they?"), so the study session was a helpful exercise for me in figuring out exactly how and why I was doing everything and explaining it to him step by step, which clarified things for me a lot. The test itself today wasn't great. I seemed to just blank out on something very very important which, of course, I needed for every problem, so I was quite stuck for a long time and going around in circles. Then I finally found the light switch and started madly scribbling for the rest of the period. Fortunately, he gave us quite a lot of extra time to work on the test, but even then I didn't finish. Sigh.

Sunday evening was a highly enjoyable experience. Hugo, Ellie and I went over to Philip and Beverly's for dinner and dancing. They fed us with copious amounts of delicious food, as usual, as well as good company and many laughs. Then we shoved the table aside and practiced "Simon's Fancy" for a while to the c.d. that Hugo burned of the Renegade Rose musicians session that afternoon! Tonight I'm typing up dance notes to send out to people so they can practice on their own (or at least try to remember the dances on their own). Things are coming together quite nicely with this team.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

F was for Fried-day, S is for Study Saturday and Sunday.

I'm not kidding about the fried. I got home from work at about 5:30, and within 5 minutes I had taken off my shoes and jacket and climbed into bed. I slept like a rock for three hours or so, then woke up enough to get some food in me (fried rice, to go with the theme of the day), went back to bed around 10:30 and slept for another 10 hours or so. Wow. I knew I needed sleep, but I didn't know I needed that much! I'm better now. :)

I've got an icky math test on Monday, so studying for that will take up most of my workish time this weekend. Fortunately, I don't have anything but a lab writeup due this week, so I don't have a bunch of problem sets to worry about. Oh, shoot. I just remembered the two problem sets that were due on Wednesday that I didn't turn in. Okay, scratch that about not worrying about problem sets. Sigh. I'm looking forward to being done with this quarter. I have to figure out when my final exams are. I'm pretty sure they're on the same day; hopefully not the same time!

Thursday, February 20, 2003

By the way, thank you Graham for your suggestion of "Thilly Thursday." I'll keep that in mind for next week.
I should have let the day run its course before deciding on the appropriate T words to describe it. I'll add to my earlier T's with Terrible Twisting and Turning. Of the ankle, that is (and unfortunately the same one I sprained so badly a couple of years ago). We were dancing Bampton "Simon's Fancy" for six at practice tonight, and working on the chorus figure, especially the bit where the corners are supposed to come in back to back in the middle. I guess we stressed the idea of getting really close together a little too much, because Dave and I ended up stepping on each other somehow and my ankle turned completely under me. I ended up doing one-footed forrie capers, and those of you who know what a forrie caper is know that it's really hard to do them one-footed! But I decided to hobble out of the set and sub David in for the rest of the dance rather than attempt the side-steps on one foot. :} It got better and I danced a bit more later on, but it's still tender and swollen and probably won't be very happy tomorrow. So I came home and rubbed arnica gel all over it and made myself a nice big mug of hot chocolate as a bedtime snack. Because it's bedtime! Yes, folks, I'm going to bed before 10:00! Aren't you proud of me? :) I've been feeling very tired and slow this week, because I've been up far too late for too many nights, so I decided to forego the singing and merriment at the pub after practice tonight for the peace and quiet of a log-friendly bed. Good night!
And just to beat the alphabet game into the ground, T is for Tolerable Though Tired Thursdays. Not much to say about today, except I'd really rather just stay home and go to bed than go out to morris practice. Sigh. It'll be fun, but I'm already tired, body and brain.

I've been reading Graham's and Tina's blogs about the impending Viennese Ball (tomorrow) and have decided that I'm quite happy not going this year. It's a lot of fuss and hassle and dressing up and paying lots of money for a big event when all I want to do is go dance and have fun, which is possible (and highly enjoyable) to do for $2 at Jammix. I am sorry I won't be there to support Tina and the rest of Opening Committee and see them dance, but I'm sure they'll do a fabulous job even if I'm not there. Good luck!

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

So, to continue my alphabet theme of the week: W is for Widiculous Wednesday. (Okay, so you have to get out your baby voice for this one; it's the best I could come up with.) Not funny ridiculous, but "why can't anything go the way it's supposed to" and "can't these people get a clue?" ridiculous. My physics lab took about twice as long as it should have because the equipment is so old and shoddy. One of the rubber feet was missing from our centripetal force apparatus, so we had to put shims under it and clamp it to the table, readjusting the level after every trial when it shifted. Oh, and we had to start over again at one point because one of my lab partners forgot that we were supposed to do another trial so she changed the tension in the spring and there's no way to get it back to exactly where it was before. Sigh. Then it was "Mock Exam" day in my diff eq class, which basically means that we get into groups and are given problems to solve and present to the class, similar to problems that will appear on the test on Monday. It's a 140 minute class and there were six groups, so we should have had plenty of time. And we would have, if the first group hadn't taken an entire hour for their presentation! By the time we got to my group, which was second to last, class was technically over and we didn't have time for any kind of quality presentation whatsoever. What's more, we ran over so late that I missed the bus after the bus I usually take home, so I had to take the one after that, so I didn't get home until 8:00. Ugh and Grrrrr.

On a brighter note, here's wishing a very happy 9th birthday to Kirsty! This young girl is shaping up into quite a fine contra dancer.... :)

There's a pile of dishes in the sink that I don't even want to think about, but I'm certainly not going to do any homework tonight, so I might as well start on them. I'm meeting Gerhardt on Sunday afternoon to go over some diff eq stuph with him (he's an optical engineer, among many other things, and actually asked if he could help me with this class) and hopefully clear up some of the concepts before the test on Monday. Oh, and I did horribly on my physics test. Ugh. Anyway, enough random stuph for now. On to tackle the dishes.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

If I were playing the alphabet game, I would say M is for Monday Misadventures, and T for Tuesday Technology Tie-ups.

Yesterday I drew the angel card "expectancy." I joked, saying, "well, I expect I’ll have a physics exam this afternoon." But little did I know what the day would bring. The short (everything is relative) version of my day is as follows:
- Left the apartment half an hour early so I could walk to the post office and finally mail back that silly differential equations book that got mailed to me twice. Arrived at the P.O. only to read the sign that says "Closed Sundays and Holidays," and remembered it was a holiday. Decided it wasn’t fair that, not only did I have class on a federal holiday, I had an exam. Walked back to the apartment and did some more work before catching my normal bus.
- Transferred buses downtown, boarding the only bus going to PCC (the 44) from that direction (there are only two buses going to campus – how silly is that?). Thought it was odd that a) it was not the usual bus driver and b) there were only three other people on the bus, when normally it is half full of students and picking up more at every stop.
- Wrote a letter to Quena sitting on the side of a highway in the pouring rain next to a broken down bus, half an hour before my physics test.
- Boarded the next 44 bus and hoped it would arrive on time. We were very close to campus, and I was convinced we would make it on time, when, at the last stop before PCC, the bus driver stopped, disembarked, and went into 7-11!
- Finally arrived at PCC just in time for the test, which had numerous errors, including one multiple choice question that didn’t actually have the correct answer as one of the choices.
- Decided that my angel card for the day and one of my favorite quotes from The Phantom Tollbooth went hand in hand to describe my day: "Expect everything, I always say, and the unexpected never happens!"

As for T for Tuesday... We’ve been having some significant technology problems at work for the last few days, with everybody’s computers running really really slowly and freezing up and work going at about a quarter of the normal pace. We’ve also been having issues with our newest monitor having orange lines all over the place. Somehow it became my job to deal with that particular issue, so I spent over an hour on the phone today with PowerMax and LaCie trying to figure out warranty information, how to send it back, etc. The stupid thing was that most of that time was spent trying to convince the guy on the other end that the monitor didn’t have a serial number on it. He kept asking if there was maybe possibly another little sticker on it with this sort of number, and I kept telling him, no, what I’ve told you is exactly what is on the monitor. There is no other sticker. The only good part about all this was the nice classical hold music, which I got to listen to for a good long time. I put it on speaker phone and Alan and I pretended we were listening to the radio, except without commercials. :}

And now it’s homework time. Two diff eq problem sets, a physics problem set, and a physics lab writeup due tomorrow. Oh, and a diff eq presentation to finish and test to study for on Monday. Phew! I’ll be glad when this quarter is over! I’m looking forward to only taking one class next quarter. It’s the other physics class I have to take, thermo and optics or something, and it’s taught by the same guy, which I’m not sure I’m too happy with. I don’t really feel like I’ve worked very hard in this class or learned very much that I'll remember. On the other hand, I’ll know what to expect. Anyway, back to work!

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Yahoo! Finished all my problem sets ... before 10:00! Now all I have to think about in the morning is my physics exam at 2:00 that I haven't spent one brain cell's worth of energy on yet. But I'm not going to worry about that right now. I'm going to bed! :)
Well, I had a somewhat more productive afternoon at the library today. There may be hope yet. The guy sitting next to me at the library yesterday said that he was a math major in college (and grad school, I think). He could see I was having problems and asked if he could see my book, out of curiosity about what I was struggling with. He looked at it for a moment and then asked if I'd had linear algebra. I said, "umm, no." He said, "Then this is the first time you've seen matrices and this and that and the other?" "Umm, yeah." He couldn't believe that I wasn't required to take linear algebra before diff eq. Of course, I have no idea what linear algebra is, but apparently I wouldn't be having such a hard time with diff eq if I'd had it. Oh, well. Despite my apparent lack of sufficient prerequisites, tocay I completed all of one problem set except for the parts I need the c.d. for, and a significant portion of the other. I just wish the library was open for more than 4 hours on Sundays -- I was on a roll! Of course, I was also starving.... :P So tonight I'll hopefully finish the rest of those problem sets, then use my time before my physics exam tomorrow morning to study for said exam. Yikes!

Kit discussion for Renegade Rose proved fruitful, and the basic kit (we're still ironing out the details) is pretty much what I'd wanted all along, so I'm pretty happy with it. :) We were debating between crossed baldricks and some sort of waistcoat, and the only thing everybody could agree on was to let everybody choose which they'd rather wear. Now we're debating between short and long waistcoats. :P If you want to see a few versions of the kit we're thinking about, you can check out Lev's sketches and Nancy's sketch. The first page also has the RR business card that Lev designed. We're going to take the basic rose on black background and use that as the design for a patch that will go on the baldrics and vests for the kit. I think it'll look really nice. Now we just have to work on getting everybody's kit together before our first gig at the Pagan Fair on March 22nd!

We had a very sweet surprise yesterday. Around mid-morning there was a knock on the door, and who should be standing on our doorstep but a smiling Phil, soaking wet from the pouring rain, panting from running through it, and holding a boquet of daffydowndillies and a Valentine's card! What a sweetheart! Yay for happy surprises!

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Ugh. Frustrating afternoon at the library. I went expecting to get a lot of my diff eq homework accomplished but I got virtually nothing done. It's not that I wasn't concentrating or was getting distracted from my work; my brain was churning wildly for three hours. It's just that I plain old don't understand the last four sections we've covered in this class. I was reading and re-reading the chapters and my notes, trying to use the examples to work through the problems and not having a clue what I was doing the whole time. I succeeded in completing most of one problem set -- the one that was due on Wednesday that I didn't turn in because I didn't understand it -- but I still have two more due on Monday, then two on Wednesday. And that's not even thinking about my physics exam on Monday or the problem set and lab due Wednesday. Ugh. I don't like not understanding things. Especially when I work this hard at it. Humph.

On a happier note, my Big Boy cookies were a huge success and got scarfed up quite happily by both my morris team on Thursday night and everybody at work on Friday (I had two people ask for the recipe!). It made me feel good to have something to give people, since I didn't have my act together enough to do cards or anything this year. I did enjoy all of the valentines that I received, all the more because I wasn't expecting anything -- thank you all so much! Especially the wonderfully nifty pink tie-dyed socks that Cass sent me; yay for happy socks! :) It was a pretty low-key V-day for me. I had a long day at work, came home and slept for an hour or so, then Hugo and I went for a bit of a walk and ate dinner at a Thai restaurant down the street. Yum.

Hugo got good news on the immigration front on Wednesday. He's been granted a 240-day extension on the greencard process, for all the days that he has worked outside the US since he's been here, so he has more time to get everything taken care of (not that he can do much more than wait still, but at least things aren't so urgent now). Big sigh of relief! Thanks to Mom and Graham for love and support and "sending American thoughts." :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Mmmmm..... cheap champagne and cookie dough, that's my idea of dinner. :P Well, it's good as an appetizer. The leftover champagne I couldn't drink last night because I had schoolwork, and the makings of Valentine's Day cookies (Big Boy cookie recipe from Monee - yay!). Yum. Now the cookie dough is chilling in the fridge and I'm eating a quesadilla (with corn and tomatoes - my favorite!) and waiting until it's ready to be cookie-cutted and baked into cute little hearts and frosted. Hugo's out at BMM (Bridgetown Morris Men) practice tonight, so I have the apartment (and more importantly, the kitchen) to myself for another hour or so.

I've decided that I shouldn't even try to do homework at home anymore. I was struggling and fighting with concepts and problems last night and not getting anywhere on my diff eq problem set that was due today. I finally gave up and went to bed. Today I got out of physics lab early, sat outside in the sun (and wind), ate my lunch, and did the problem set in an hour! I suppose this teaches me that I focus better on academics when I'm not at home with all of the distractions of everything that needs to be done non-academically. I'm also learning that I really miss the library hours at Stanford - the public libraries here just can't compare. One of my main days for homework is Sunday, and the library downtown is only open from 12-5! The times that I'd much rather be out enjoying the gorgeous sunshine we've been having, or doing other things, leaving studying for morning and night. Sigh. I guess on-campus college libraries are a rather unique thing, and one I never would have expected to miss this much. I rarely studied in the libraries when I was at Stanford, but I find myself wishing several times a week that I had that study-area available to me here. Oh, well. I'll cope. But maybe I'll appreciate the libraries better when I come back to Stanford. :)

I think I might actually be getting into some sort of running routine here, which is really exciting. I'd love to do more exercising on a regular basis. Hugo and I have been jogging for the last two Saturdays, and we went yesterday afternoon. If I can keep that up, maybe with one more day a week thrown in, I think I'll start feeling really good (as long as my shins behave). I'm actually impressed at how well my body remembers how to run. I know it sounds silly when I put it that way, but that's what it is. Even after only a couple runs in two weeks, I could feel a significant difference in my stamina during yesterday's run. We did a shorter total distance, but ran the whole time rather than stopping to stretch in the middle like we've been doing. I was breathing hard, but I was still fine by the end of it, not dying like I was halfway through the first run we did a week and a half ago, and I felt like I could have gone farther. So that makes me hopeful.

I think it's time to go make some cookies now. Yum!

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Yay for morris dancing! Boo for meetings about morris dancing! We had a two hour meeting this afternoon to discuss Renegade Rose/Trillium issues, figure out officers, kit, dues, and all sorts of stuph. It's still not entirely certain whether Trillium is indeed folding completely into Renegade Rose or whether they will continue to retain their own identity, but they're in for now, especially since three of them are now officers of Renegade Rose. Hugo was unanimously voted Foreman, and Nancy (from Trillium) and I are deputy forepersons, which basically means we're in on all of the decision-making processes. Lev (Trillium muso) is now squire, and Marti (of Trillium) is bag, or money-person. Everybody seemed pretty happy with all of this, as well as most of the other conclusions we came to, though it was a bloody long process getting everybody to agree on things. Whew! I'm glad that's over. But it's not, really. We've deferred the kit discussion to email, so that will go on a bit longer. But it will all turn out well in the end, as long as we pick my favorite. ;P

Hugo's dad sent him a really funny song that he's playing right now, called "Leopold Allcox," by Jake Thackeray. It's about a distant relation who comes to visit and totally destroys everything. The last line of it is: I saw him waving goodbye this last minute, waving his hand with my doorknob still in it. I had to listen to it a few times before I actually understood everything, but it's absolutely hilarious. Very English. It makes me glad I don't have any clumsy or obnoxious relatives -- you're all wonderful!

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Yay for fambly! I just talked to several members of mine tonight, and it was lovely. Greg (my uncle) was out visiting from New York and staying at Monee and Pa's (my grandparents), so Graham and Mom went to spend the evening with them. I called Graham and talked to him when he got home, then called Monee and Pa's to talk to everybody else. Greg was surprised when I told him that, yes, I actually had expected him to answer the phone. :) It would have been lovely to be there to see him and visit with everybody, but it was nice to talk to all of them.

It's bed time now.

And I still haven't gotten any homework done today.

Ah, the wonders of running – good for body, mind and soul. I woke up this morning feeling all out of sorts with myself and just wanting to curl up in a little ball and stay in bed all day. But Hugo (eventually) made me get up and go for a run with him, and that turned things around amazingly well. The actual act of running felt much better this week than last week, when I just felt I was slogging along and beating myself into the ground until I would finally collapse – I actually felt like I was getting into a stride and wasn’t totally exhausted afterward. And after a run and a shower my outlook on things is much brighter. I love taking a shower after I run – it makes me feel extra clean, somehow, a clean that I don’t feel when I just get up and take a shower in the morning before work. It’s like I have to actually get sweaty or dirty in order to really feel clean. Which, I suppose, is part of the reason I loved taking showers in the evenings when I got home from work at the Marine Lab all sweaty and filthy. I felt like I’d actually accomplished something and was rewarding myself with a nice satisfying shower. But enough of that. I’m clean and I don’t smell all sweaty anymore. Big deal. :P

Hugo’s quest for the elusive greencard has come to its crucial moment, and he should hear around the end of next week whether or not he’ll be able to stay in this country, or if he has to move back to England. There’s nothing more he can really do about it at this point, other than fill out all the paperwork and hope, so that’s what we’re doing – hoping really hard.

Time to go down to the dungeon (ok, the basement) and start some laundry, then wash the dishes from last night (oh, the joys of eating dinner at 10:00 and not having a dishwasher), and finally get started on some homework. Fortunately, our internet access has been spotty (in fact, it’s down right now, which is why I’m typing this in Word and will post it whenever it comes back up), so there’s less of a distraction for me there. :}

Happy Saturday!
….. Later (since I still can’t get on the internet to do a separate entry)…..
So much for doing homework. It hasn’t happened yet. I did get some laundry going, but then I got caught up on tidying the apartment and sweeping the whole place. Hardwood floors can be nice sometimes, but, boy, the dust bunnies are a force to be reckoned with! :P

Friday, February 07, 2003

Yay for Fridays! Yes, I'm home on a Friday night writing in my blog instead of being out partying or dancing or some other such excitement. But that's perfectly alright with me. Life has been moving quickly and I don't feel the need to be out just because it's Friday night; a quiet night at home in my pj's is just peachy for me.

I've been getting lots and lots of happy wonderful letters and things in the mail the last couple of weeks. Things from some of my favoritest people in the whole wide world -- my big brother, star-sister, and both Mommies! :) It's very wonderful to get letters, and I keep meaning to sit down and write some of my own one of these days. Why does it feel like I never have time to do the little nice things like that? It seems that I'm always either working, in class, or studying, and when I'm not I don't know where the time goes because I don't ever seem to get anything accomplished that I'd like to. Sigh.

I was talking with Hugo last night on our way to the pub after morris practice, trying to figure out where I might possibly be going with my life in general, and what on earth I want to do with school in particular. Part of the reason for taking this year off was to try to get more of a focus on what I might want to concentrate on with the rest of my time at Stanford, by getting further away from it for a while (though it has turned out not to be so much a year "off" after all, since I'm taking icky classes all year -- sigh). I declared myself as an Earth Systems major about a year ago, and I like the ideas and principles that the program offers and supports, but when I really think about it I have no idea where I would "go" with such a major. I think I'm technically in the "Oceans" concentration at the moment, but I'm leaning further and further away from that. The thing is, I can't say for certain what I'm leaning towards. None of the other Earth Systems tracks particularly draw me, but neither do any of the other majors at Stanford. Hugo said he couldn’t see why I’m in Earth Systems at all to begin with, observing that I don’t posses either of the two traits that he would expect to drive somebody into choosing that major (driving being a good thing): a thirst for knowledge, and political motivation (or even an opinion once in a while). Which I suppose is true. I like to learn things, but my memory is abominable and I can’t seem to retain any knowledge from one quarter to the next, let alone anything remotely permanent (academically speaking – I remember dances quite well, thank you). And anybody who knows me will know that I don’t have any sort of political inclination, so I’m not going into Earth Systems to get into the politics of changing the world. So why am I in Earth Systems? I say that I like the broad variety of the program, yet I complain that I have to take a whole bunch of classes that I don’t like, such as differential equations, economics and computer science. To be brutally honest with myself, I’m beginning to realize that part of the reason I gravitated toward this major is that it allows me to stay unfocused; I get a little bit of everything, but come out not having a grounding or in-depth involvement in any of it. Which is just fine and dandy for the part of me that’s scared to death of committing to something as big as my educational direction (even if I don’t think it’s what I’ll do for the rest of my life, though I’d like to think it had some relevance); but for the part of my brain that is finally realizing this, it’s even more scary because it just reinforces the fact that I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing and I don’t have that long to get my act together and figure it out, at least on a two- or three-year time scale. But this is all too heavy for a Friday night. I think I’ll eat some more cheesecake and go to bed.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Mmmmm...... I should definitely make cheesecake more often.
Mmmm, cheesecake. Yum. Just got it out of the oven, so it won't be ready to eat for a few hours, but it sure smells and looks good! :) Much more appealing than all of the various tax forms I've been looking at this afternoon. I have to do double duty on filing taxes this year, since I have to file in California and Oregon. What a pain. But at least I've got a while to do it still.

To continue my textbook saga: I got a note in the mail yesterday from the people that sent me the Differential Equations book, admitting their mistake in sending me two books and asking me to please mail one of them back. It's a good thing I hadn't tried to sell it yet! The weird thing was that one of them was sent by UPS and the other by USPS. Not very consistent, so not too surprising that they made the mistake. But I'm glad it was that way and not the other way around. :}

And to catch up on the adventures at the apartment.... Hugo, Kirsty, Robbie and I went to the contra dance on Saturday night, leaving Ellie in the apartment by herself. It was a good dance, but we were all tired by the end, and ready to just come home, have a snack, and go to bed. But when we got back we found a note on the door from Ellie, saying "Sorry I had to leave, but there's a giant grey rat-thing in your kitchen under the sink. Mommy picked me up. -Ellie P.S. Joe called about the truck." We found the cupboard doors under the sink braced shut with a stool, so we figured it must have been a fairly good sized rodent to warrant that precaution. The rat wasn't under the sink when we looked, but we found the hole he'd gotten in by and plugged it up with an old sock. We went down to the basement to see if we could find the other end of the hole, but couldn't. By the time everybody finally got over the excitement and went to bed it was about 1:00 a.m. Unfortunately, we still haven't managed to get rid of the rat. He pulled the sock all the way through the hole to wherever the hole goes -- the sock that Hugo wedged in as hard as he could until he couldn't push it any further. We hear him under there every once in a while, but haven't managed to get him yet. I think we should take our friend Beverly up on her offer of her live trap. But meanwhile, call the land lady.

I have a light load of schoolwork this week, due to an icky horrible differential equations exam yesterday, and a physics prof that's been in the hospital for gall bladder surgery for the last week -- our homework deadlines have been put off until he comes back next Monday. It's kind of nice, but won't be so nice when I have to get my nose back to the grindstone next week. Here's to early bed times!

Saturday, February 01, 2003

Ack! It's February already! How did that happen? Heck, it's still hard to believe that it's 2003! Shows how much I've been paying attention.

Renegade Rose had a great practice on Thursday. We had twelve dancers (!), several musicians, and lots of enthusiasm. I do enjoy teaching beginners a dance, but I'm hoping to soon graduate from the stage of having to go back to teaching the basics every week because new people show up. We're beginning to have kit (or "costume" for the uninitiated) discussions, and of course nobody can agree on what we should wear. Some of us did a spontaneous dance-out at the Farmer's Market last fall, where we wore bright baggy "harem" pants, black shirts, and arm-bands. That was fun, but nobody actually wants that for real kit, so we have to think of something else. I personally don't see a problem with harem pants, as long as you wear bells to keep from tripping over them when you dance -- they're nice and cool. :) Actually, the idea for that kit came from what I just wore to practice one evening! But that's another story. Renegade Rose is scheduled to dance at the Seattle Folklife Festival over the Memorial Day weekend, so we need to come to a kit consensus and hammer out a few dances before then. :)

Hugo and I went for a run this morning. Ugh. It wasn't a very long run, and we didn't go very fast at all, but still -- Ugh. I haven't been running in waaaaaaaaaay too long. Hugo wrapped my knee up in an ace bandage before we started (as a preventative measure -- I've been having some issues with my right knee for a few months). As he was wrapping it I was asking, "Are you sure it's supposed to be that tight?" He said, "Yeah, you're supposed to support the kneecap." It felt pretty tight, but I figured I just wasn't used to it. By the time we got to the end of the block, though, I had to stop and re-wrap it because it was cutting off the circulation in my leg. I was laughing, saying, "This thing is making me limp! I thought it was supposed to stop me from limping!" At which point Hugo remembered that you really don't have to wrap those things very tightly for them to work properly. :} We re-wrapped the knee, and the rest of the run was better, though he hit his stride right about the time I hit my "I can't go any further" point. Sigh. I need to do that more often.

We've finally had some rain up here. For a couple days straight, actually. It's good, because it's been a really dry winter up here, but it makes things rather muddy when it all decides to come down at once. :P And I discovered yesterday that my umbrella is pretty much useless. It's very wimpy, so if there's any wind at all, it will use that as an excuse to turn itself inside-out at every opportunity. If it hasn't done that for a while, it decides to shut itself up the proper way -- on my head, of course. Sigh.

I should probably attempt to do some schoolwork, especially if I want to go to the contra dance tonight. I just remembered this morning that I have a Diff. Eq. exam on Monday, so I should probably study for that as well. Oh, the joys of school. :}

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Hugo thinks I should call my blog "Land-O-Lacey." I deigned to raise my eyebrows at the suggestion. He didn't press the issue.

Guess what -- I'm completely caught up on my schoolwork! Wow! I am amazed. I thought I'd be struggling along playing catch-up for another week or two at least, but I'm all up-to-date on assignments and readings and everything! I worked a half day yesterday, from 9-noon, then headed to the library to crank out some problem sets. The library was really busy; I talked to my friend Beverly who works there in the music history section, and she said there were a number of school groups in for the afternoon, so it was a bit of a challenge finding someplace I felt I had some quietish personal space where I could concentrate, but I found it, and I got my work done. I did differential equations for about four hours, until linear ODEs and inverse LaPlace transforms were coming out my ears (if only you'd been there to see them!). Then I came home and did all of my physics homework that was due today. I ended up not having to turn it in, because my professor is in the hospital having some sort of gall bladder surgery and lecture was cancelled, but it's nice to have it done anyway, because I have another problem set due next week. I have a bit of a break on math homework for next week, because I have an exam on Monday -- hmmm, is that a good thing or not? All in all, though, I'm feeling much better and more confident about how school stuph is going this quarter than I have yet. I should go to the library more often.

I have fun jobs at work this week. I get to train Alan, our "new guy" (he was part time temp during the holiday season, but we hired him full time, and a good thing, too) to do all sorts of things. I'm not quite sure why the're having me train him; maybe because I do most of the things he'll be doing more often than most of the other people, maybe because I'm only around half time now and they figure I might as well spend the time I am there being useful in training somebody else to do my job all the time that I'm not there. Either way, I like training, and Alan is quick to catch on, so I think it'll be a rather good week at work.

We started burning the first of the drip candles I got the other day. After a while we noticed that there was something wrong -- it had been burning for a nice long time, but hadn't dripped at all. In fact, we had watched a pool of red wax start growing up on top of the candle, and the next time we looked back it had disappeared, and not down the sides of the candle! The wick was too thick, and was burning all of the wax rather than making it spill. I was afraid that all of the candles in the case would be similarly defective, but we put a new one in this evening and it works just fine. I was playing around melting the other one onto it, and found a lovely bright blue color in it that I don't remember from the other candles. That was a pleasant surprise.

Hugo found a "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" quiz on the BBC website, and we did it together while I was washing dishes before dinner. We ended up with 80%, because we couldn't agree on a few of the answers. Then, of course, he went looking for more Hitchhiker stuph online. He found the H2G2 website, which is basically designed to be like the Guide itself, where you can open it up and look for absolutely anything. Lots of people posting on lots of random stuph, just for fun and to have it out there. There were some pretty funny things. Check this out if you're interested:

Okay, I think that's enough for today. I guess a nice long blog entry today makes up for my negligence the past few days. :)

P.S. Graham, I made that link on my very own! Aren't you proud of me? :P

Monday, January 27, 2003

Too Many Textbooks

Okay, I'm confused. Very very confused.

I just answered a knock on the door to find a package on the porch, textbook-sized. I thought, "Wow, that book that Seth sent sure got here quick. It doesn't look like the sort of packaging he would have used, though...." And I was right on that count -- it wasn't from him. But it was a physics book -- from the people that were supposed to send it to me originally! So I guess they were right in their email, though still rather rude. But now I'm wondering who on earth sent me a second differential equations book -- because it obviously wasn't this company, and it wasn't the one I ordered it from -- the two came in completely different packages from different places. Unfortunately, I didn't keep the packaging from the first math book I received; that would have been smart, but oh well. But I just got my credit card bill in the mail, and I was only charged for one math and one physics book. So where did the other one come from? Because now I definitely have two differential equations textbooks, and very soon I will have two physics textbooks as well, when the one that Seth sent arrives in a couple days. Aaack! What am I supposed to do with them all?!!!!

I also got more Chinese herbs in the mail from Mom. Yay for Chinese herbs! I'm feeling much much better now -- I woke up this morning feeling more normal than I have for a week, so I think I might actually make it through school today (though I'm not looking forward to my physics test). Got to get back to homework!

Saturday, January 25, 2003

I asked Kirsty this evening what she had seen today that was pretty, and she said she didn't know. I told her that you can't go a day without seeing something pretty, which got me to thinking of what I had seen today that was pretty (while she drew me a picture of a tree she had seen in the woods). I must admit that I haven't been out the front door today, and I probably would have been hard pressed to find anything traditionally classed as "pretty" out there if I had -- it's all wet and rainy and grey and sludgy out there. I'm usually good at finding beauty in grey days, but I didn't exacly experience this one, so I didn't have a chance to. Here's a list of the pretty things I found in the apartment today:

- My new desktop picture, a dragonfly
- The colored-wax-encrusted wine bottle we burn our drippy candles in
- My rainbow hanging string thing that my Dad and Betty Lue gave me when I moved to Oregon
- The rose hanging to dry on the kitchen wall
- The picture Kirsty drew me of the two of us under a sunny rainbow sky (literally, the sky was one big rainbow, and an upside down one, at that! :) )
- Certain pictures in this year's Harmony collection -- particularly one of my two wonderful Mommies, both beautiful women inside and out
- The Renegade Rose Morris Dancers "business" card I taped to my monitor
- Kirsty's twirly purple velvet dancing dress
- The Vienna Teng c.d. that I'm listening to right now (okay, so that's hearing pretty and not seeing, but it still counts, right?)

I like making lists of pretty things. It brings a little extra piece of happy to the day that wouldn't normally be there if you just went through the day seeing but not really noticing everything. I've been feeling sleepy and sickish and rather cranky and out-of-sorts in general today (apologies to those who had to experience that!), but now I feel a bit better. As long as I don't start thinking about my homework, and the physics test I have on Monday.....

Friday, January 24, 2003

My Hero of the Day

Seth! Who read of my trials and tribulations with the physics textbook, and this morning mailed me his copy of exactly the book I need -- and the extended version, at that! Hooray! It doesn't look like I'm going to be able to return the stupid math book that I got sent (I got a pretty rude automated email response to my complaint which basically told me that they shipped the correct book, I was stupid, and there was nothing I could do about it.) So I'll probably try to sell that one online somehow, or sell it back to the bookstore at the end of the quarter (anybody need a copy of "Differential Equations" second edition? :P ) But at least I won't have to go spend a pile of money on yet another physics book. Yay for loans from nice people. Thanks, Seth!

I went back to work today in an attempt to get a semi-decent number of hours on my timesheet for this week. Not a hard day as this job goes, but far too long for me. I took in a Nalgene bottle full of tea and a roll of toilet paper. That lasted me pretty well through the morning, but my energy just went downhill in the afternoon. By the time I got home I was pretty much done in and just went and crashed on my bed for a while until I could at least enunciate well enough to communicate with moderate success. I'm feeling a bit better now after having slurped some dinner (mmm, smoked salmon spaghetti) and chewing some orange juice (yes, I do mean chewing -- it's good stuph!), but I think I'll still go to bed pretty soon. This cold or whatever it is is definitely progressing, so I don't think it's anything serious. It's just taking me a while to get to a manageable point. Sigh. At least it's weekend-time now, so I have two days to get better (and catch up on homework -- eek!) when I wouldn't be getting paid anyway.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 23, 2003

I got two packages in the mail today! One was very happy-making -- a whole case of color-drippy candles! Very exciting.

The other package should have been happy-making as well, but instead has me very confused and frustrated and angry. I got all excited about it, because it was obviously the other textbook that I had ordered that I hadn't gotten yet (hence my photocopying my physics book yesterday afternoon). But when I opened it up I found that it was not the expected "Fundamentals of Physics," but another "Differential Equations." I don't get it! Now I have two math books and no physics book, and that doesn't make for a very happy Lacey. Ugh. So now I have to figure out a way to either order the book for somewhere else and hope it arrives in a timely fashion (i.e., before we get to chapter 6), or bite the bullet and buy it back full price from the PCC bookstore. Ugh.

Other than that, it's been a mellow day, if you can classify being sick and out-of-it as mellow. I didn't go to work today, because I don't think it would have been good for anybody. Unfortunately, since I'm only working 20 hours a week, missing one day of work is missing almost half of my hours for the week. Not good. Hopefully I'll be able to make it in tomorrow, as long as I promise not to breathe on anybody. Mom's sending me more Chinese herbs (yay!) and Hugo is buying me tomato soup as I type. Mmmmm....

Time to go back to bed. It's a good thing I like reading.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Ugh. I hate being sick. It's no fun. And I thought I was doing so well fighting off this evil thing that Hugo has had since New Years. But I guess it (or something else) was just too determined to get me. Humph. It came on like a freight train last night while I was making dinner, and by the time we sat down to eat I could barely lift my fork and definitely wasn't in the mood for curry (which, I might mention, was far from a culinary success, which didn't improve my appetite). Needless to say, I didn't go to school today. Which sucks because I missed a physics lab and a math quiz. Ugh. I've spent most of the day in bed, in varying states of consciousness, with a brief visit to the outside world in the early afternoon. This consisted of a trip to Kinkos to photocopy the next two chapters of my physics textbook so I could return the book to the school bookstore for a full refund before the deadline. You see, after I had bought my textbooks from the PCC bookstore I found that I could get them for a lot cheaper through ebay's, so I ordered them. The only problem is that my physics book hasn't arrived yet. So I'm hoping it does before we're through with Chapter 5, otherwise I'm going to be spending a lot of time in the school library. Hugo did take me over to campus this afternoon to return my textbooks and turn in my lab and problem sets, which was very nice of him.

On a happier note, I managed to get refunded for a book that I didn't actually return. The solutions manual for my differential equations book came shrink-wrapped with the books I bought from PCC, but not with the book I bought on the internet. It's really useful sometimes, though, so I figured I'd try to keep it if I could. The lady at the refund desk didn't ask if there was another book with the math book -- she just asked if it was shrink-wrapped, to which I truthfully answered "yes," and then she refunded the whole price. So I got my solutions manual for free. Yay.

I think it's time to stop typing now and maybe go lie down again. Maybe after I make myself some more tea.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Yay for finishing homework before dinner! and having time to make cookies! Mmm, chocolate oatmeal cookies. (To make up for the cheesecake that I didn't end up making yesterday.) I remembered an important lesson regarding studying today -- the benefits of walking away and letting something be for a while if you're completely stuck. I must have spent about two hours yesterday struggling with one of my diff eq problem sets, finally decided to scratch it for the night, and today I picked it up, read two pages of the textbook over again, and whipped the problem set out in less time than I spent trying to figure out the first problem yesterday. It's good to get a fresh look at things once in a while.

It's also good to recognize when things are really truly not going to work, no matter how hard you try. Hugo and I spent an inordinate amount of time last night trying to download and configure things that would enable me to set up my Mac on the IBM network he has for his three PCs in the apartment. This was mainly for the purpose of allowing me to connect to his printer so I didn't have to bring mine up from the basement and clutter the place up further. Which is what ended up happening in the end, after my poor Murgatroid crashed about twelve times in a row on startup and I finally uninstalled Dave (the program that was supposed to work these wonders.) (Oh, yeah, and after Hugo somehow locked himself out of his own computer and hasn't been able to get on since -- his company computer *wince*) So now I have my printer back up here and get to experience all of the adventures associated with it (gotta love tempermental technology).

By the way, happy National Hugging Day! Thank you, Graham, for reminding me. It's a nice thing to remember, especially since I always like all the hugs I can get. So if you're reading this, give yourself a hug for me!

Monday, January 20, 2003

Mmmmmm... Yoga is nice (though painful at times). I decided that it was time to start attempting to resurrect some of my yoga and other stretching and good habits, so for the past couple of days we've been shoving the futon off to the side of the living room in the morning so it blocks the door and makes a nice big open floor space for yoga-izing. Hugo tried some of the poses yesterday, but lack of a yoga mat on a hardwood floor is rather, well, hard. This morning he contented himself with glancing over periodically and making remarks such as "What on earth are you doing now?" :)

Differential equations are not nice. And I have three problem sets due for that class on Wednesday -- ugh! So you can guess what I've been doing with my holiday. But I'm going to make cheesecake later on, so I have something to look forward to while I work. Yum. But first I need to get back to work....